It's amazingly simple. You just organize a small group of neighbors to be Food Donors. Each donor gets a reusable green bag to store food in. Every two months you pick up their full bag, leave an empty one for next time, and bring all the bags to a drop-off point, where volunteers receive and sort it.
Your "neighborhood" is wherever you say it is, and it's a big or small as you want it to be. It can be a few houses, a whole street, or several blocks. The most importnat thing is for you to feel comfortable with the area you pick. One of the benefits of being an NC is that you'll wind up with a better sense of where you live and who your neighbors are. So pick an area that you want to know better.
Most NCs start by asking nearby friends and acquaintances. When they're ready, they knock on a few doors near them-which is a great way to get to know neighbors.
We suggest that Food Donors buy one extra nonperishable food item each week when they go to the supermarket, but it's really up to them. Some folks will donate a lot, some a little. The amount is not important as long as they're participating, the Food Project is a success.
Our "official" pickup day is the 2nd Saturday of each odd month (March, May, July, etc.). But the project is set up to give you as much freedom as possible. If you'll be out of town on the official pickup day, or prefer to do it the week before or after, you can come up with your own date and work that out with your Food Donors. All we ask is that you keep us (and more important, your Donors) informed. If you just can't make it and need a substitute driver for a Pickup Day, let us know. We've got a list of drivers who can do it.
Each Food Donor puts their green food bag out by their front door. You pick up each bag, leave an empty one and take the food to our drop-off point. Food bank volunteers will be there to receive, weigh and sort it. When we get a total weight for the entire pickup, we'll let you know so you can let your Food Donors know how much of an impact the Food Project, and their work, is having.
Only an hour or two every other month! You might need to put a little more time in at the beginning, when you're building your neighborhood. But it's a surprisingly small time commitment, considering how big a difference you'll be making.
That's it. As you meet more neighbors and other NCs, your sense of community will grow, and it will add as much to your life as you will be adding to other's lives. It's something to look forward to.